Protesters Demand Police Reform in Portland

From the Willamette Week, April 10, 2010

Demonstrators protesting Portland police abuses again took to the streets Friday night, gathering at NW 13th and Everett – the Pearl district spot where police in 2006 first confronted James Chasse Jr., who later died in custody.

This protest was smaller and much more peaceful than a larger anti-police demonstration downtown last week. At 5 pm Friday, around 30 protesters mingled on the loading dock across from the Blue Hour restaurant as police officers on horses, bicycles and motorcycles surrounded the area.

Demonstrators rolled out several large banners, one with the words “James Chasse; Poet musician; Beaten to death by Portland Police.” Some speakers used loudspeakers as Blue Hour patrons taunted them from across the street. Protesters responded that diners were eating at a “murder scene.”

The activists then marched to Everett and Park, briefly escalating the heat with slogans like, “No justice. No peace. Fuck the police.” The group then settled down in a circle on a lawn to discuss issues of police reform. Community members discussed what they termed the Police Bureau’s record of brutality and alleged lack of accountability.

“We’re just out here to talk,” says Portlander Amy Struloeff. “We’re strangers in our community, but there’s such a genuine interest. I am interested in uniting with others for healing.”

The meeting ended about 7:15 pm, as activists vowed a “continued collective movement.”

READ – More anti-police protests Friday,, April 9. 2010

READ – Friday’s protest against police shootings peaceful,, April 9, 2010

READ – Protesters Return To NW Portland Intersection, Peaceful Demonstration Decries Police Brutality,, April 9, 2010